Yamaha THR5A Review – Acoustic Guitar Amp

Yamaha THR5A Review - Acoustic Guitar AmpProduct: Yamaha THR5A Acoustic
Price: Low-Budget
Where to buy: Amazon
Colors: Gold

The Yamaha THR5A is one of my favorite musical possessions. It’s a fantastic piece of gear that I bought about five years ago and have used almost daily ever since.

The THR5a is a digital acoustic guitar-modeling amp. It simulates how your guitar would sound recorded through different types of microphones.

But instead of having to buy five types of expensive, high-quality microphones, having to learn how to set them up correctly, having to deal with wires, phasing issues, and external noise, you can just plug your acoustic guitar in this amp, and get the same results.

All of this packed a beautiful, very convenient lunch-box-shaped amplifier.

Before we get into the review, the next clip was recorded with my Yamaha APX500III acoustic guitar and the Yamaha THR5A amplifier. No microphones and external effects were used. All of this was set up and recorded in about ten minutes.


Yamaha THR5A Review

  • 1. Mic Simulations
  • 2. Controls
  • 3. THR editor (Effects & Library)
  • 4. Size & Sound

1. Microphone Simulations

Yamaha THR5A Review - Acoustic Guitar Amp

Let’s immediately start with what makes this amplifier so great. There are four types of microphone simulations and one amp model.

As you can see in the picture, there’s a knob which allows you to pick a mic type. The mic types are:

  • Condenser (mic simulation)
  • Dynamic (mic simulation)
  • Tube (mic simulation)
  • Nylon (mic simulation)
  • Electric Guitar Clean (amp model)

Let’s give a listen to each one of them. None of these clips are edited, equalized, compressed or mixed. It’s the clean output of the amplifier plugged into my laptop.

Condenser


The condenser option is the one I use the most because it’s the most natural sounding. I think it’s spectacular how clean and beautiful this sound is.

Dynamic


This option is great if you’re recording a song and you want some strumming in the background. It’s tighter and more focused, but it misses some of the quality of the condenser microphone.

Tube


I really like this option for fingerpicking type of songs.

Nylon


The nylon type is designed for acoustic guitars with nylon string, but I don’t have a nylon electro-acoustic guitar. It sounds a bit thin recorded this way, but with some effects, you can use this option to your advantage in the studio.

Electric Guitar Clean


The amp model is designed for electric guitars, but I think it sounds really cool for acoustic guitars as well. When you add some delay and reverb, you can get a really cool and natural sound.

2. Controls

There are seven knobs on top of the amplifier.

Yamaha THR5A Review - Acoustic Guitar Amp

  • The first knob selects the mic types.
  • The second knob allows you to blend the simulated sound of the mic with the direct sound of the guitar itself.
  • The third knob controls the master input of the guitar.
  • The fourth knob controls the tone of the guitar.
  • The fifth knob allows you to add some compression and chorus
  • The sixth knob allows you to add some delay and reverb.
  • The seventh knob allows you to control the volume of the amplifier (this does not affect the volume of the guitar when you’re plugged into your desktop).

On the left is a button with two options:

  • Hold for a tuner
  • Tap for delay time

On the right, you can find a jack input, AUX input, and a phones output.

THR Editor

Using a USB cable, you can connect the amp with your desktop. Along with the amplifier comes a software, which also can be found online: http://download.yamaha.com.

This software is called THR Editor.

Yamaha THR5A Review - Acoustic Guitar Amp

As you can see, this software gives you a broader range of options. There are more effects, the compression, delay, and reverb can be tweaked to a lot of detail, and there are a lot more tonal options.

Effects

Here’s a clip of me playing with some reverb:


Here’s a clip of me playing with some delay:


These are not very subtle, but there are high cut, low cut, and volume options, which can be used for subtlety.

Under EFFECT, you can find four types of effects:

  • Chorus
  • Flanger
  • Phaser
  • Tremolo

Here’s a clip of me playing with some tremolo.


Library

The THR Editor allows you to save data to your desktop. This means when you have found the perfect setting for a guitar or a specific song, you can save it to the THR5A library.

A lot of presets can be found on the left of the screen, which is especially fantastic when you’re just starting out with the amplifier.

5. Size & Sound

Yamaha THR5A ReviewDespite being only 10.7 inches wide, 6.57 inches high, 4.7 inches long, and 8.65 pounds in weight, this amp can go surprisingly loud.

There are two 3.2 inches, 5-watt speakers, which really can fill up a room. This is not loud enough for most live shows, but for practice sessions, jam sessions in a local bar or even smaller sized live shows, this little lunch box will not disappoint.

I’ve used it for weddings, funerals, birthdays, living room concerts, rehearsals… The only regret I have with this amp is that you can’t connect it to a larger amplifier which would allow you to take it to larger stages.

But for home recording and bedroom practice sessions, this amp is sensational.

Outro

I hope this review was helpful to you. I tried to add as many clips as possible, but there are so many options with this amplifier. If you have any questions or reactions, feel free to leave a comment below. I will be here to answer them.

Happy strumming,

Timo

4 thoughts on “Yamaha THR5A Review – Acoustic Guitar Amp

  1. Thanks for the article. This article is very recommendable mostly to churches. Many Churches  are having difficulties in setting up mics and guitars to a good microphone stimulation like the condenser, but with this Yamaha THR5A I think all of those difficulties are been solved. Please I also want to know how much the Yamaha THR5A will cost.

    1. Hello Chris.

      I’ve used this amp during in churches and sadly also funerals. I can confirm it’s really easy to set up in those situations. 

      You can find the price in the Amazon link I posted above. Amazon doesn’t like it when people post how much their products are worth, because the prices always fluctuate 🙂

      Timo

  2. Wow this blows my mind, the sound quality is really great, and the multiple options for control means you can costomize the sound output the way you like, I am really impressed with the way the review was done. I am really looking forward to giving it a try myself. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *